Rear bearing(s)

Before tearing things apart and figuring out the hard ways, hoping someone can short-cut me some info.  Have a 2013 TT Tour 2 with Elite drive train (SRAM 9-gear cassette, etc.) with 3000 miles.  I just recently gave it a thorough cleaning, discovered that chain was done so replaced it.  During this, spinning the rear wheel by hand seems noisier and slows quicker than what I think to be normal.  Wondering if there is wear/tear with the rear wheel bearing and/or the cleaning (Simple Green degreaser) might have gotten in the bearing.

I have OK general and bike mechanical abilities but haven't worked on cycle rear bearings.  Are these sealed, or can they be cleaned, repacked, etc.?  Advice on replacement or regreasing?  Thanks.

(Prefer to do this stuff myself at least to become more self sufficient)


  • edited March 2017
    jamesr:  I don't think they're really doing any TT modding. Those are all leftover parts they've been trying to unload at discounted prices for a while now. I doubt they would refuse to work on one if a customer brought it in, but otherwise they simply not dealing with TT products anymore.

    I second Utah Trikes for sourcing TT wheels. One thing to note is the wheels they have come drilled for presta tubes, not schrader. At least mine did, anyway.

    You'd need cassette removal and installer tools either way. Installer an new wheel is cleaner and easier than trying to open a hub and repack. I'm not even sure you can open and repack these newer hubs, they're not really meant for it. At the very least, getting a new wheel will give you more time and confidence in disassembling the old one to find out if it's even possible. You won't have to worry too much if you mess it up. :) 

    -- PaulNM
  • Ok so you're mechanically inclined, I'll give you the readers digest condensed version. Remove the wheel, and then the cassette. You'll need cassette removal tools for that. Remove the axel and then the bearings. Take them to your LBS and get new ones. Put it all back together as you found it. It's really not difficult, just take a pic of each step so you can put it back together without missing anything.

    And you should repack your bearings every 300-500 miles.
  • Hm, thanks for the responses.  Not sure what I'm up against; I can see on TT specs that the cassette is an SRAM PG-950, and visually that matches what I have.  The cassette lock nut is marked SRAM, so perhaps the freehub & hub are SRAM?  Looking the the SRAM site, they seem to have 2010 service manuals that show replaceable bearing assemblies (sealed?) in the hub rather than removable ball bearings, then there are 2014 manuals.  The wheel rim & hub are marked TerraTrike, so I don't know what make/vintage/model they are.  Unless someone share these secrets, I'll have to wait a couple more weeks for birthday (loaded up wish list with cassette tools, etc.).  Hopefully I can tell after removing cassette and freehub what I've got.

    If I need to replace hub/freehub/wheel, I may just upgrade to 26-inch and change whole drive train (will want to change gearing to keep similar gear-inches so I can continue to climb hills with my arthritic knees and non-athletic engine).
  • Hmm, seems like overkill to replace parts at this point.  Lots of conflicting, non-matching info on the net re how freehubs come off.  I've got the cassette off.  On each side is a collar on the axel fastened by a 2mm set screw; removed.  (That in itself doesn't give me confidence, seems like a fragile design).  Under those was a rubbery seal, removed.

    Now what?  There is no lock nut or cone nut in view/reach, axel is still within.  Looks like perhaps a sealed bearing in view on either side, marked "NBK" and "6000-2RS".  Also looks like 2 slots under/outside of the drive-side bearing like old-school free-wheels that took a special tool, like a socket wrench ground down leaving just 2 teeth extended.  Anyone know how this comes apart?  I haven't found any info that matches.  Very frustrating.

    TT folks maybe?  I believe I'm catching this before it is a serious problem, seems crazy to have to replace the whole wheel just because a little dirt got in and/or lube washed out.  I just want to clean & relube the hub if appropriate/possible, and get back on the road.  Instead I've been grounded all year.
  •   Call TerraTrike.

    ¬ ITL
  • Maybe TT can sell you a rear wheel for the amount of money you were going to spend on tools and parts?
  • NBK is the manufacturer and 6000-2RS is the bearing part number. It is a 10X26X8 deep groove ball bearing. You should be able to get them for about $5 apiece.
  • If you can see the axle going into the bearing and where the bearing touches the hub and there are no locking devices like a snap ring or such, then the axle is a press fit through the bearing. Some light taps with a soft mallet so as to not damage the threads should get the axle out.
  • Yeah, found those bearings, seems they are commonly used in lots of products and inexpensive as mentioned above.  Before I start tapping on the axle though, will try asking TT directly now that I'm this far, and it is clear that the bearings are easily replaced now and future.  Might end up springing for a bearing press set.  Might have to machine a custom tool to fit the freehub fastener.  I'm just amazed with all the info on the net and here that noone seems to have info on this hub/freehub setup.

    Re cost, I'd rather pay more than the cost of a new wheel to acquire the tools, parts, know-how, and experience to handle the maint. and repair if it now and later.
  • edited April 2017
    So lots of information here but you do have several options. The cost of a chain whip, lock ring removal tool and cone wrenches if the lock nuts are threaded should be less than $30 do you remember if the hub spun more freely when new? If not then you will only be replacing the same grade bearings and there will not be a noticeable improvement in performance. 

    To this day the many of the highest end hubs use free ball bearings as they are adjustable and can be set to run with very little resistance. There are also sealed cartridge hubs such as DT Swiss, Phil Wood, Chris King that would give you a lifetime of very high performance.  I use both Dura Ace free ball bearing and DT swiss sealed hubs and for my money the adjustable roll just a touch faster. As to bearing lifetime and repack etc. My current road ride has 11,000 miles since the last repack and the bearings are still smooth as can be. I do use Phil Wood grease and that is so waterproof that I only repack if the hubs feel crunchy when spun by hand off the bike. Regarding Chain and cassette life span I highly doubt your chain was cashed in at 3000 miles unless you never cleaned or lubed it in those 3000 miles. I get 5-6000 miles out of a 10 speed chain which is way thinner than the 9 speed chain on your ride and 7-9000 out of a 10 speed cassette. Keep it clean and lubed especially after rain exposure and you should easily exceed those amounts due to the extra chain length and width of a 9 speed setup.

    If you were to go the mountain bike wheel route there are often high end 9 speed rear wheels on ebay used but still in great shape for amazing prices especially the older rim brake versions you would need for your tour. Look for a clean Shimano XTR rear wheel with an 8-9-10 speed hub then it's just a matter of swapping the cassette and off you go. You can then go to Compass bikes and score a really comfortable fast rolling rear tire that setup should add performance and comfort.
  • Already got the chain whip and lock ring tool and have the cassette off.  Haven't had it taken apart this far before, so hard to compare with when new.  But I have felt a few inconsistent crunches in the freehub, perhaps grit.  Spinning the wheel holding just the axel, can feel some subtle rubbing at same spot in wheel position, especially if wheel is tilted off-vertical.  I think this matters more on this trike vs bike as it can get some pretty strong lateral cornering forces.

    I use it for exercise & commuting, no competition or group riding, so eaking out smidgens of performance is much less of priority to reliability (don't want to be 10 miles from home/work with a seized wheel).

    3k miles seemed a little short to me; was 1st time checking chain stretch and surprized at wear.  I cleaned it less often than desired, but kept it lubed with RockNRoll.  It got a little rain, but not much, and stayed on pavement.  Just trying to take good proactive care if it, didn't expect hub needs at this point and certainly not a wheel replacement.  This ought to be simple, and I think I'm catching symptems early before they become real problems.  Just can't believe with all the youtube stuff these days that there isn't a single one re a TT rear hub.

    I'm not too bothered by the chain this go round since I haven't changed one before, and is an opportunity to change to a top-of-line KNC which are affordable on ebay (would hurt going list price for 3 lengths).  I'm also going to try switching to straight parafin if only for less mess.  Different subject.

  • edited April 2017
    Have you compared to the front wheels? Maybe pull them and see if the bearings feel roughly the same? I recently put a new set of wheels on a project bike for a friend they were Nashbar vuelta blowout priced well built but do feel rough when spun by hand on the bike however they are fine. You can also try prying the seals off with the hub still assembled then degrease and reapply I highly recommend Phil Wood pricey but worth it. Most sealed hubs are press fit some have shoulders so it is as mentioned before just a matter of lightly tapping to remove axle and bearings. If not you will need a bearing puller. Art's Cyclery has this one for $16 called the Wheels Manufacturing Bearing Extractor

    I wouldn't worry about the wheel seizing or lateral forces there is a youtube video out there of a bicycle wheel built by Bill Mould on a car and I have resurrected many 40 year old Schwinns for cheap campus bikes none have required bearing replacement despite the cheap crappy bearings used in the original assembly. You may be able to put a caliper on the axle and bearing race many high end even ceramic replacements out there for sealed wheel bearings that may give you the buttery smooth spin you are looking for.

    Yeah if the chain stretched it should have been replaced as it will wear the cassette and possibly chain rings but again 3k for a nine speed chain is a very short life. How did you measure the stretch? If you are willing to clean and reapply every two weeks wd40 works well for chain cassette lube otherwise T9 is my favorite it's inexpensive and will last up to 200 miles before you need a quick clean and reapply. I also use KMC chains in my case X10 sl they are great for sram and shimano cassettes. Waxing chains is a very personal deal you either love or hate it never really saw the benefit myself but enough people do to keep it alive.
  • Emailed a photo & questions to TT via their photos email and via the contact web page.  Crickets.  No response.

    Went ahead and tried/succeeded in tapping out the cartridge bearings on both sides by hammering on the axle.  The axle is machined with stops just inside each bearing, so this was the correct procedure.  1 of the cartridge bearings spins 1-eighth of a revolution and then hard stops.  So axle (aluminum alloy?) has been spinning in the seized stainless steel bearing for who knows how long.  Fortunately it had managed to get some lube there.

    Now on the freehub side the 2-notched fastener I described earlier is next in line:  (this is after removal of skewer, cassette & lock ring, collars, seals, cartridge bearings, and axle):

    I presume this 2-notched fastener is what holds the freehub to the hub.

    Next step planned is to get a Park Tool FR-8 and grind down 2 of the 4 teeth.  Saw a reference by someone with a Specialized 142+ hub that looked very similar.  He had the same idea.  I see some VarTool tools and others that might do the job without mods, but lots of comments about the tool slipping/stripping/breaking; everything I've seen say the Parks hold up.  Another important unknown with this is not knowing which way it's threaded;  TT, is this really such a terrible secret?????

    So I've had a bearing failure at 3k miles or earlier, and I doubt my washing caused that.  I'm willing to do maint. work, and replace $5 industry-standard bearings, but having no documentation for that and having to replace wheels every 3k miles is just not reasonable.

    Grrr, missing riding all spring so far.

  • That type of failure is highly unusual so I doubt it will be a recurring issue. If the free hub body is working properly as in freewheeling in coasting mode and catching immediately in drive mode there really should be no reason to disassemble just pop in the new bearings/axle and go riding.
  • *sigh*. Borrowed the wheel from my wife's Rover. Emailed TT; got only a response asking for specific questions; responded with that, pinged again a week ago; crickets are deafening. At least tell me you don't like me and can't be bothered supporting a 3-year old product and customer of >$4k. I had also been a vocal and visual proponent of the trikes and company. That's changing.

    My wife & I struggled to find a Calphalon knife to match a set that we gifted someone with recently. Was out of stock/production for months. They just sent us a free one. And a pleasant experience dealing with them. They've won loyalty and good word-of-mouth even though it's Chinese junk.
  • Hate to disagree with you, but that freehub is held onto the hub by a hex bolt inside it usually a 10 mm hex wrench is needed to take it off the hub. The two notched bearing race is "backwards" threaded (left hand thread), and if you take that off all the little bearings inside the free hub and the pawls will fall out. Then you can take the wheel hub bearings out. Wish you lived close by I'd show you how to do it.
  • edited July 2017
    Part #14 is the Allen bolt that holds the free hub onto the wheel hub. HOWEVER, if you pulled out a cartridge from inside the two-notched cup in the free hub; your freehub doesn't have the ball bearing shown as part #15 in the picture above. Your hub may be built as this one made by Nuke-Proof. BUT the freehub is held onto the hub by again a hollow Allen bolt. Similar to this picture: d74uha2oaxv9.jpg

    FWIW; "some" wheel hubs have 4 cartridge bearings in them; 2 in the free hub it self and tow in the hub itself. DT Swiss has some like that. The free hub in your pic looks like a typical Shimano freehub with tiny little bearings inside it (as shown in a video I enclosed), and the pawls. MOST people when they get crunchy just throw them away and bolt in a new one. I've taken many and flushed the grease and dirt out of them (after taking the "o-ring" which Some have out underneath them); and flushed them in my parts washer, blown all the crap out and then poured either 30 wt motor oil or have used 90 wt gear oil in them and allowed them to soak. Then re-bolted onto the wheel hub body.
  • edited July 2017
    Here is a video that can explain it all better. NOTE: the video in the film doesn't have cartridge bearings in it but the design as far as the free hub body and the Allen bolt is the same.

    Here is a video showing how the freehub body is taken apart. NOTE MOST people if they have a problem in the free hub just hrow it away especially if the little "pawls' inside are broken. You can get a new free hub body at a bike shop or online. Hope this helps.
  • Call and talk to Taylor at the shop (800-945-9910).
    He'll help you figure this out.
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • Been at the beach for a week.

    Ironman: Thanks for the help. Trust me, I've seen those videos and about a hundred others trying to get real info. I did not have those hub assembly breakout diagrams, but neither matches. No hex 10mm ID hub axel. Looking in that hub axle, it looks hex-ish, but the walls are not flat, rather curved, and a 10 mm wrench spins freely.

    chonk, thanks, I will try give Taylor a call this week. But really, months with no response to multiple emails; what's with that?
  • I can't speak for TT, but whenever I've had issues I call Taylor. Once, I was modifying a Sturmey-Archer rear end to fit a Derailleur (long story) and he sent me pics he took himself of their Derailleur and hanger, in place, as well as the supports for the return chain tube.

    So in my book, TT has always gone above and beyond to support the customer. Perhaps your email just got lost somehow?
  • edited July 2017
    Is it possible you have a hub with a Torx rather than a hex key? Or something someone had stripped with an improperly sized hex? Have taken apart several rear hubs and found a number of different components (mostly on DF not trikes), but they all came apart fine. Was just looking at discards to educate self... not worried about re-assembly.
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